Your Dreamforce Survival Guide #DF11

by Michelle McGinnis on Thursday, August 25, 2011 in Digital Marketing

Heading to Dreamforce 2011? Better get into survival mode.

With more than 30,000 attendees expected, a jammed expo floor and some of the best keynote speakers you can fit in less than a week, Dreamforce is the cloud computing event of the year. But it can be a dizzying event if you’re not prepped.

With that in mind, we deliver to you this Dreamforce Survival Kit. Below you’ll find the apps, advice, required reading and Twitter streams to follow. Get ready, it’s going to be amazing!

4 Must-Have Mobile Apps for Dreamforce
Dreamforce app - Absolutely essential for keeping track of your agenda and for communicating with the Dreamforce community on Chatter. And the best part is it’s free.

Yelp! - If you have a sudden hankering for late night grub, Yelp! can help. By using the “Open Now” filter, you can avoid traipsing around the city in vain.

Evernote - Dreamforce can inspire a lot of great ideas: campaign concepts, blog posts, software to invest in, etc. Keeping track of your thoughts in real-time is vital. Using Evernote will save you a lot of aggravation later.

A QR Code Reader - Any reader; just take your pick. There are so many QR code promotions happening at Dreamforce that you’ll want to come prepared. Be sure to download one now and save time at the event.

Be Early
This advice applies to many aspects of this event. First off, whatever time you give yourself to check-in at the airport, add about 30 minutes. This particularly applies if you’re coming from an especially tech-friendly city. This event draws a lot of folks, and those direct flights to San Francisco get particularly full. So be safe and give yourself plenty of time to get in and back.

The same goes for the actual keynotes and sessions. If you want a good seat when Marc Benioff takes the stage or another highly anticipated speaker, you’ll want show up at least 45 minutes beforehand. Well-touted sessions require a 30-minute window as well.

Required Reading
One of the best ways to prep for Dreamforce is to read up on what others have had to say from event floor. Of course, there are tons of tips out there. So we hand selected a few to get you started.

10 Tips for Attending Dreamforce or Any Other Event – This bulleted guide from Read Write Web is broad, but applicable. Reading it will help you get in the right mindset for attending such a massive event.

Success at Dreamforce: the Girly Geeks – This blog post from addresses that lonely feeling of attending Dreamforce by yourself, and how a group of like-minded techies used social media to find each other. Good inspiration for finding your own niche at Dreamforce.

Countdown to Dreamforce '11 - Mike Gerholdt not only picks out must-see sessions, he also provides a video of expert packing tips. Trust me. You'll want to check it out.

Dreamforce: Tips for First Year Attendees – This post from Force Monkey provides great first hand and curated tips from a CRM enthusiast’s point-of-view. If your goal is to learn as much tech as possible, Force Monkey provides good fodder.

Six Tips from a Dreamforce Veteran – Okay, we’re partial. But these tips from Eloqueen Jill Rowley is chock full of goodies, particularly if you’re looking for a sales point-of-view.

7 Twitter Feeds to Follow

  • Angela Ahrendts is the CEO of the Burberry, which makes her a fashionista queen. But her background is steeped in marketing. Marketers would be smart to follow her thoughts during Dreamforce.

  • Marcus Nelson is the director of social media for His Twitter stream often spotlights some of the best tweets and goings-on around the community, especially during Dreamforce.

  • R Ray Wang is a self-described provocateur and he backs that up at Dreamforce. A prolific tweeter, Ray shares some great thoughts at the event.

  • Jeremiah Owyang is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to the social enterprise and B2B. This year, he’ll be presenting at Dreamforce and you’ll want to keep track.

  • David Alston is the Chief Marketing Officer of Radian6, which will enjoy its first Dreamforce as a company. It should be fun to hear David’s thoughts as takes it all in.

  • SFDC_Nerd. The name says it all. Becka is an all-around superstar and never misses a Dreamforce. If you want a glimpse into the community of super fans, follow her.

  • @Dreamforce. Duh. Dreamforce has a packed agenda and things can change fast. By following the official Twitter feed, you can stay apprised of sudden schedule shifts and news.

While you're at Dreamforce, don't miss our Super Session with Eloqua CEO Joe Payne, NetApp CMO Christine Heckart and Involver's Jascha Kaykas-Wolff. Grab seats before they fill up.


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